A new study conducted by researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and colleagues from China and the US shines a new light on CO2 emissions. Researchers argue that the ‘new phase of globalization’ could undermine international efforts in reducing CO2 emissions.
The study found that South-South trade has doubled in the period of 2004-2011. Production activities started to move from China and India to countries that started to develop (Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand). The strategy is to use new raw materials and to produce intermediate goods.
While Chinese exports show a slow or reverse in CO2 emissions, exports from Vietnam and Bangladesh have increased.
Global CO2 Emission Continued to Increase
From 2005 to 2015 international trade has increased by over 50%, and 60% of the increase is due to the developing countries that have started to export more goods. The South-South trade also tripled in the same period.
The authors have published their findings in Nature Communications. They warn that the international efforts in reducing global emissions will be undermined.
Co-author of this study Dabo Guan, is a professor in climate change economics at UEA’s School of International Development. He stated:
“The rapid growth in South-South trade reflects a fragmenting of global supply chains whereby early-production stages of many industries have relocated from countries like China and India to lower-wage economies, a trend that has accelerated since the global financial crisis in 2008. In addition to their important implications for global economic development, these trends will affect the magnitude and regional distribution of future global CO2 emissions.”
Offshoring As a Way Around…
Prof Guan also said that global development will have to keep the climate target at 2°C. However, their study found that more Asian countries (Vietnam or Pakistan) have risen production activities, increasing the emissions of CO2.
He also argues that China and India may have lowered their emissions, according to the Paris Agreement. But they have offshored their activities to other Asian countries that have “less stringent climate policy measures.”
A way to successfully reduce emissions, says Guan, is to decarbonize all energy systems in the “entire process of industrialization” all over the world.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere